Recent Avalanche Activty 1/31

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
User avatar
oldranger
Topix Addict
Posts: 2795
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Bend, Oregon

Re: Recent Avalanche Activty 1/31

Post by oldranger » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:29 am

In a completely different context the person teaching me said, "despite all the safety equipment the most important safety factor is your judgement."
I think this applies in this context as well.


Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!






User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 5273
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Recent Avalanche Activty 1/31

Post by Wandering Daisy » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:34 pm

Avalanche safety gear, experience and more accurate forecasts are back-up if an unsuspected avalanche occurs- NOT a justification to take more risk than you would if you did not have such technology!

Avalanche prediction is uncertain, particularly for any one specific slope. Conditions change hourly. The skier still has to make the final call. High consequence but low probability risk is the hardest to evaluate because it is seemingly safe. As for your reptilian brain's pleasure-reward trap, part of judgement is learning to override these impulsive urges. It is a life-long process. I am grateful that I lived though my youth!

User avatar
c9h13no3
Topix Expert
Posts: 763
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2018 1:19 pm
Experience: Level 1 Hiker
Location: San Mateo, CA

Re: Recent Avalanche Activty 1/31

Post by c9h13no3 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:15 pm

Wandering Daisy wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:34 pm
more accurate forecasts are back-up if an unsuspected avalanche occurs
This doesn't make any sense.

We're not really discussing anything productive at this point. Pat yourself on the back, call the 15 people that died this past week dumb, and feel superior if you like. But the truth is that reasonable people fall into these traps on a regular basis, and if you take the attitude that "Oh, they were stupid, I'm not" you risk falling into the same situation yourself.
"Adventure is just bad planning." - Roald Amundsen
Also, I have a blog no one reads. Please do not click here.

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 5273
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Recent Avalanche Activty 1/31

Post by Wandering Daisy » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:26 am

C-9, I am sorry we seem to have miscommunicated. Those who died certainly were not "stupid". They were pushing their luck because they likely had done the same thing previously and lucked out. It is a hard decision to make; you have to say "no" to all sorts of "rewards" screaming inside your head.

I am very saddened by the recent deaths, not "patting myself on the back." I am humbled (grateful) by the fact that I too could easily have died in my younger years following a trend of "rad" climbing. Fortunately before I ended up a statistic, I fell in with a group who gave me more perspective and knowledge in safety.

I am looking back as a 72 year old, parent and grandparent, realizing the life I would have missed if my short term fun had ended badly. A good friend, super climber, his son died recently in an avalanche, "doing what he loved". Yet guilt, despair and utter sadness years later for the parents is something few see. My daughter was a good friend to one of the fellows who died in the avalanche in Colorado. She called me in a mix of tears and conflicted emotion as he left behind his wife with twin 6-week old babies. One of my best friends died in an avalanche in New Zealand while ski mountaineering. Another lived, but was so badly injured his life changed forever.

Avalanche conditions this year seem to be much more severe than "normal". Please be careful.

User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
Posts: 11088
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Inyo NF Info 2/10

Post by maverick » Wed Feb 10, 2021 12:32 pm

Inyo NF:
Although an avalanche can occur whenever there is snow on a mountain range, avalanches most often occur between the months of December and April. It is important for visitors to be equipped with the current avalanche forecast, the proper avalanche rescue equipment, and avalanche training.

Each year millions of avalanches sweep down mountains across the United States. While most occur naturally and well away from people, sometimes wintertime sports enthusiasts trigger, get caught, and are killed by avalanches. There have already been 21 fatalities during this 2020-2021 season, which is high compared to the 2019-2020 season total of 23.

With another 2-3 months of peak avalanche season remaining, visitors should exercise increased caution when traveling out into the backcountry. Visitors can mitigate their avalanche risk by doing the following:

• Get the Forecast – access the latest avalanche forecast. For the Inyo National Forest, visit the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center.
You can visit avalanche.org for forecast throughout the west. There, professional avalanche forecasts are posted daily and highlight the level of risk in an area on a scale from 1-Low, to 5-Extreme.

• Get the Gear – Another critical component of avalanche safety is having the appropriate gear. There are three essential pieces of gear: An avalanche beacon, a probe, and a shovel. https://avalanche.org/avalanche-tutoria ... e-gear.php

• Get the Training – Find an avalanche course provider at avalanche.org, and get trained up in avalanche safety. Start your training online by watching the Know Before You Go safety video at www.kbyg.org.

To learn more about avalanches and safety please visit ESAC or avalanche.org.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Addict
Posts: 3085
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Silicon Valley
Contact:

Re: Recent Avalanche Activty 1/31

Post by SSSdave » Fri Feb 12, 2021 11:28 am

SNOOOOW wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:26 am
SSSdave wrote:
Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:07 pm
The issue isn't necessarily going out into the backcountry to ski but rather doing so in avalanche prone areas. Avalanches generally occur on 60%+ gradient slopes and fair numbers will incorrectly think if they just ease off to 40% and 50% gradients they should be safe. Instead they ought seek 20% to 30% grade slopes, however many have not learned how to ski powder in those areas.


Do you mean avalanches are less likely to occur at slope angles of 60 degrees and above? Anything above 60 degree slope angle and the snow generally sluffs off more frequently which makes larger avalanches less likely to happen. Most avalanches occur between a slope angle of 30 degrees - 45 degrees. I think the problem is people venturing into the winter backcountry without any avalanche basics or training...


Pretty funny since so many mountain enthusiasts make that same mistake I've been correcting for years. You mixed up percent grade and degree angles. I use percent grade because that is the way experts discuss slopes gradients whether skiers or highway engineers.

User avatar
Wandering Daisy
Topix Docent
Posts: 5273
Joined: Sun Jan 24, 2010 8:19 pm
Experience: N/A
Location: Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento area)
Contact:

Re: Recent Avalanche Activty 1/31

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:25 pm

https://avalanche.org/avalanche-accidents/

Interesting statistics; gives a better perspective on this years season. I was surprised at the number of snowmobilers killed in avalanches.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests